Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bike Review #2

Tonight I've decided to do a little write up on my mountain bike. Although this isn't the way it's set up to race on, it's the way I've been riding it lately. See for yourself. Note the flat front tire from yesterday's goathead battle. The goatheads won, they always do.

The frame is a Giant hybrid with an aluminum front triangle and carbon seat and chain stays. Giant has discontinued this frame, but I can't figure out for the life of me why they would have. It was very affordable, and rides as nicely as anything I've touched. I couldn't believe the difference the carbon stays made after the first time I rode it, but I absolutely love the way it feels and the handling couldn't be better. Currently it's set up with 700c road wheels, which makes training on it this time of the year possible. I'm not sure that I could get in long consistent hours on the trail, but this way I can just ride it around Greeley and get more and more used to the way it rides, and get my body used to riding on it.

I once had a full XTR drivetrain, but when I got this frame I had to get a new front derailleur and I decided to go with an XT (mostly because I had a race the next day and that's all that was available, but also because I didn't want to throw down 75 bucks for a part I might use once or twice in a race. For those of you who know how I ride, I usually climb in my big ring, and spin it out on the flats and decents.) Right now for winter training I've also fitted the bike with an FSA compact road crankset. This allows me to push a little bigger gear since I'm mostly riding it on pavement and flat gravel. I'm running a Sram PC-69 chain on this bike. I run Sram chains and cassettes on all my geared bikes. This cassette happens to be an 11-32. You can also see the recycled bar tape on the chain stay. I took this off Scott's bike last spring, and I think the blue looks alright, although it shows grease from the chain really bad.

Up front I'm rollin' with a 2003 Rock Shox SID World Cup in the "Rollin' Green" color. The fork has a carbon crown and steerer as well as a remote lock out. I'm not the biggest Rock Shox fan in the world, but as long as you keep it well maintained it works great and weighs in at just under 2.6 lbs. The problem is you have to constantly rebuild it to keep it maintained. It's in need of an overhaul right now after a rough summer and short racing season this fall. This picture also shows the Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes. I went with the mechanical brakes because I couldn't afford new XTR shifter levers, although to all of you out there, if you want disc brakes, you want hydraulic, trust me. These things are a pain to keep running right, and require constant adjustment. Oh well, the price was better than I could believe, and they allow me to run the 700c wheels since the rim no longer has to line up with a brake. I'm running Kenda Kaliente tires on this bike, which I've heard great things about, but had bad luck with yesterday. I don't think I can blame that on the tire too much though, I'm quite certain I would have flatted a steel belted radial with as many goatheads as I had sticking out of my tire.

Here is a picture of the cockpit. I've got the XTR dual control shifter/levers, which I like quite a bit, although I still think hydraulic would've been the way to go. You can also see my remote lock-out (locked out in the particular shot), my cut off bar-ends, and the Deda bar-tape that I use in place of grips. I like the bar-tape #1 because I love bar tape, #2 because I like the grips to be thinner than a regular rubber grip, and #3 because the tape doesn't slide around the way grips do. This shot also shows my old Schwinn Homegrown top cap that I decided I'd keep with me so I never forget Pumpkin.

Under my rear lies a San Marco Aspide saddle and Thomson Elite seatpost. No complaints with either, although I'd rather have an SLR saddle. Unfortunately I've broken two SLR's riding them off road, and after riding two laps of a cyclocross race on the seat rails of one, I decided they just aren't tough enough. The Aspide has held up well, but just doesn't feel as nice on my sitting bones.

The crank is a 34-50, but was custom drilled so I could throw a 22t little ring on it if I felt compelled to do so. Getting this thing on was kind've a challenge, and I'm not so sure it's really too Kosher the way it is. I ended up using a Dura-Ace triple bottom bracket, but had to put a spacer on the drive side so the chainrings would clear the chainstay. It works and hasn't loosened itself yet so I guess I'll just run it?

As you can tell, this thing is a speed machine the way it's set up. Here it is in action. Full Donkey Tuck down 4th street. The Donkey Tuck is twice as good on the MTB since the top tube is so much lower than my road bike. I must warn you though, I hit a manhole about 2 seconds after this shot was taken, and the top tube isn't what you want to be sitting on when hitting hard bumps, especially if the fork is locked out.

I think that concludes my write up. If I've left any questions un-answered, feel free to ask. Right now there is some movie on about the candyman and I can feel myself getting dumber as I listen to it. I'd better go find something better to waste the rest of my night on. Hope you all have a great Martin Luther King Day. I'm part way through Alex Haley's "Malcolm X," maybe I'll read a little more of it tomorrow just to show my spirit of the day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like it, it looks fast